Katherine Tai to be tapped for U.S. trade representative by Joe Biden


Presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden is expected to name Katherine Tai, the top trade lawyer for Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee, as his pick for U.S. trade representative, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

Ms. Tai helped guide the recent rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) through the House and is a veteran of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative during the Obama administration.

She was chief counsel for China Trade Enforcement for several years before leaving for Capitol Hill.

Rep. Judy Chu of California, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, was among the House Democrats who praised Ms. Tai as a candidate for the USTR post.

Mr. Biden’s tapping Ms. Tai for the job would save House Democrats from losing another member as they deal with an ever-winnowing majority following the 2020 election.

Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, had also been mentioned as a potential candidate for U.S. trade representative.

Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana has already accepted a White House job and Mr. Biden is expected to name Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio as his nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

It appears that those subtractions would, at least temporarily, leave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California with a 220-seat majority once Mr. Richmond and Ms. Fudge leave their solidly Democratic seats.

With a full House, it takes 218 votes to secure a majority.

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